A delicious destination for leftover brisket, this salad is best with meat from the flat end of the brisket, because it holds its shape better than brisket point. Leave the brisket in long slices or cut it into wide strips, and be sure it’s at room temperature so it won’t be too dense.
Cut the tails and leaves from the beets but leave about 1 inch of the stems attached. Wash well and put them in a 2-quart saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until tender when pierced with a skewer, 30 to 35 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. When cool enough to handle, slip off the peels. Slice the beets 1/4 inch thick.
While the beets cook, put the potatoes in a 4-quart saucepan with enough water to cover and 1 Tbs. salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and slice 1/4 inch thick.
In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream, horseradish, and vinegar. Mix in the apple and onion, if using. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and vinegar.
In a medium bowl, toss the fennel and parsley with 2 Tbs. of the horseradish dressing, the olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper.
Arrange the brisket, potatoes, and beets on 4 large plates. Sprinkle lightly with salt and drizzle with some of the dressing. Pile the fennel on top and serve the remaining dressing on the side.
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Photo: Scott Phillips